MEMBERSHIP: Nikolas A. Kamarados, a certified financial planner with the Prudential Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia Agency has achieved membership in the Million Dollar Round Table for the 10th consecutive year, making him a qualifying and life member.
"Nik exemplifies everything that MDRT stands for the highest standards of professionalism, competence, integrity and putting the needs of our customers first," said Caroline Feeney, president of agency distribution at Prudential. "We are very proud of Nik and congratulate him on an outstanding year."
MDRT was founded in 1927, and is an international, independent association of more than 35,000, or less than 1 percent, of the world's best life insurance and financial services professionals, officials said. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of sales excellence in the life insurance and financial services business.
Eagle Ford sale: Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. is selling its Eagle Ford Shale assets in Texas for $3.1 billion as it looks to lower its debt.
The buyer is a subsidiary of Encana Corp., a Canadian oil and natural gas company.
Freeport has been working on selling about $4 billion of its energy assets to help reduce debt and allow it to concentrate more on growth areas like the Gulf of Mexico. It anticipates getting net proceeds of about $2.5 billion from the latest deal.
The Phoenix-based copper and gold mining company said Wednesday that it expects to use approximately half the proceeds to repay outstanding debt. It foresees using the remainder of the proceeds to invest in assets in the Gulf of Mexico.
Freeport's consolidated debt totaled $20.9 billion as of March 31, according to a regulatory filing.
Encana has recently cut jobs, slashed its dividend and closed an office in a bid to become more efficient. It also plans to spin off a portion of its Alberta assets into a new public company.
The Eagle Ford Shale assets include all of Freeport-McMoRan's interests on approximately 45,500 net acres with estimated net proved reserves totaling 59 million barrels of oil equivalents and estimated net proved and probable reserves of 69 million BOE at the end of 2013. Production from the field averaged 53,000 BOE per day in 2014's first quarter.
The deal is targeted to close by the second quarter's end.
Amazon sundays: Amazon is expanding its Sunday package delivery service to 15 more cities across the country, including Philadelphia, New Orleans and Dallas.
Amazon first rolled out the service as part of a new deal with the U.S. Postal Service in November to New York and Los Angeles, just ahead of the holiday rush. At the time, it said it planned to extend it to other cities this year.
The service is one of many efforts Amazon has been making to attract new customers and encourage existing customers to spend more, even though it increased its Prime two-day shipping membership program's annual fee to $99 from $79 in March.
On Monday, it started a service that lets Twitter users add Amazon.com products to their carts without leaving the social media site. In April, it launched Prime Pantry, a grocery delivery service for Prime members. The same month, it introduced Amazon Fire, its first set-top video streaming box.
The Seattle-based online retailer does not disclose the percentage of its packages that are delivered on weekends, but said since the service launched it has delivered millions of packages on Sunday to its customers.
"So far, the most common items delivered on Sunday include baby supplies such as newborn apparel, books and toys - Sunday delivery is clearly crossing errands off the weekend to-do list," said Mike Roth, Amazon's vice president of North America operations.